Our Amazing Human Body

I’m sitting here in the glow of our Christmas tree, thinking of our own little Christmas miracle, and the amazing human body we each inhabit. As soon as the sun gets up, I’m going to the grocery store to buy supplies to make all sorts of bad things for me. To be fair to Mike, you should know this is all me… He is much more dedicated to his healthy choices, and yet I will use the excuse that I’m doing it for him, and in the name of Christmas.

But I digress…

The Episode

Although I last published on the island of Kodiak.. watching the Bears… in JULY (oops). The story I wanted to tell is of our recent scary episode. The Sunday after Thanksgiving we spent the morning in the ER. Mike thought he was having a heart attack. After dinner at my folks, he wasn’t feeling too hot, had some heartburn. It was uncomfortable enough that he had me drive home. The pain was about grapefruit sized when he woke at 1 am. He describes it as a tight compression, heavy weight on his chest. He woke me at 4am. The pain spread to his entire chest. With cold sweats, and difficulty breathing deeply.. He was scared.

I lay in bed the next half an hour googling chest pain. Every article ended with “get to the hospital now”. Thinking how rusty my CPR skills were, and that I really didn’t want that to happen, we decided to go to the Emergency room. It was an eerily familiar event as I took Mike to the ER not 18 months ago with pneumonia. This would be his second hospital visit in his 66 years of life.

The ER ran all sorts of tests, EKG, X-Ray, blood-work, Nitro Glycerin. They hooked him up to machines, poked and prodded. By 11 am he was feeling great, and although they found no causes, they also alleviated anything serious. He might be uncomfortable but he was not going to die today and my rusty CPR skills would likely not be tested. Yay! We went home, although Mike was not excited that he didn’t have any answers.

Healing Mike’s Back in Rapid City

Now I’ll back the story up. In September (3 month earlier). In South Dakota, walking around Deadwood, Mike threw his back out.He nearly had to crawl back to the car. His feet had been hurting for over a year. We sought out a Chiropractor in Durango last January for his feet and Haley helped, but as soon as we left Durango the pain started coming back. I urged his to see someone else, but we all know the difficulty of finding “the right”.. whatever, that will work for us. Compound this with being on the road and ALWAYS having to start fresh. When his back went out I told him he HAD to find someone.

He sat down to research Rapid City Chiropractors and found a guy who in hindsight was a miracle for us! Dr Robert Kuyper from Alternative Health Care Center. Almost makes us want to move to Rapid City to see him on a regular basis.

X-rays of Mike’s back found it to be perfectly straight, straighter than backs should be. And with 65 years of abuse, he wasn’t sure how effective his treatments would be. He recommended a regiment of 3 times a week traction for 8 weeks. trouble is we were only going to be there 3 more weeks. The doctor told us he could start treatment and he would recommend someone in Las Vegas, or Houston, or…. wherever to follow up, although he told us only 5% of the chiropractors in the US study his particular discipline. So Mike started.

Amazing Human Body X-Ray

The Results … until

After 3 weeks the results were dramatic (so good he hasn’t pursued new practitioners to follow up with). His back now has a decent curve. And the back correction healed his feet problems (an unexpected bonus due to the miracle of the amazing human body). The Chiropractor put him on a month long detox as well. Strict, no sugar, no gluten, no dairy. We have been eating somewhat this way for 5 years but occasionally slide back into our old ways. He was feeling better than he had in a long, long time. Enough so that he re-dedicated himself to a permanent habit of gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free lifestyle.

He felt great until the morning of his “heart attack symptoms”. And truth be told, in the 2 weeks I had been home from Switzerland, we had a conference (difficult to eat pure), a class at Frontsight (greuling days and difficult to eat right), a road trip to Albuquerque where we ate a lot of restaurant food, followed by Thanksgiving.

The Cause

The Chiropractor in Rapid City had been following up with him with supplements and follow-up blood-work. Mike had a phone appointment with him to go over the latest blood results the following Wednesday. When he told Dr. Robert of his “episode at the ER”, Dr. Robert told him matter-of-factly, “That doesn’t surprise me at all. Your blood-work shows that your Cholesterol modules are restricting blood-flow because they are too small and are getting stuck in your arteries. Had you not come in when you did, in another year that would have been a real heart attack.” This episode was apparently a predictable complaining of the stressed arteries. But the good news is that the detox, clean eating, and supplements probably saved his life. His amazing human body is getting better everyday. If he continues to feed his body what it need, he will completely heal in time.

Our Original Amazing Human Body Story

If you go way back (10 years) we would tell the story of how Mike cured 50 years of semi-weekly headaches (including once a month migraine) through a similar cleaning up of our food, detox, and eventually 5 years ago, gluten elimination.

Our more current story is just one more shout out to the holistic community who found the cause non-invasively over a phone call, when 6 hours of poking and prodding in the ER and a follow up with a primary care were totally ineffective, except of course to rule out the really scary stuff! I am not saying we shouldn’t see medical doctors, but Mike and I (in our personal experience) are continually shocked at how the amazing human body will heal itself if only given the right fuel.

And Sadly it is not an absolute…

It saddens me that so many friends have lost the battle with their health and I know did everything they could think of to combat their illnesses. Or in one case, one of my closest life long friends lost her son to a freak accident of mixing or anti-anxiety meds, back pain meds, and alcohol mixing. Obviously NOT the fuel his amazing human body was seeking. In this way life is not fair.


I rarely bake in the RV, let’s be honest… I rarely cook in the RV. Luckily, I am blessed to have Mike who does all our cooking and taking care of our house, inside and out. But every once in a while an honest-to-goodness nesting instinct hits me. This is Christmas week, and I want to make a bunch of goodies. After everything I said in this blog I perhaps shouldn’t do it, but our culture and the Standard American (SAD) Diet constantly fight us. That and I believe life has to be a balance of discipline mixed with enjoyment.

Phyl & Mike in Vegas

I want to walk around the RV park tomorrow (Christmas Eve Eve) and visit all the other guests of the park. I plan to take them a little bit of joy wrapped in poisonous, glutenous goodness! Is this just wrong? Maybe instead I should crawl back in bed, cuddle up next to Mike, and feel the patches of chest hair that have not grown back in where they shaved him for the electrodes.. And appreciate just how blessed we really are!

Merry Christmas.


OK, So I felt compelled to come back in after spending the last two days doing said baking… One reason I hadn’t done much baking since being in the RV is that Mike made me (ongoing argument) leave my Kitchen Aide mixer back in storage. I’m not much of a “hand-beating” sort of girl. We also left our Vitamix back in storage.

In the meantime a couple of months ago we bought an Immersion Blender. This one was interesting because it has blender, a food processor, and a whip/beater attachment. So I used the beater for the baking yesterday. What a great tool for the RVer. Can’t say it replaces those other tools, but for a place with limited storage space I’m thinking now that I tried it, it’s a tool I cannot live without. Check out the link below.

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